Physicochemical Characteristics and Heavy Metal Levels in Water Samples from Five River Systems in Delta State, Nigeria|
Kaizer, A.N. & Osakwe, S.A.
Physicochemical characteristics and heavy metal levels in water samples from five river systems in central part of Delta State, Nigeria were investigated to access the quality status of the rivers. All the watersheds selected for study were well distributed and possessed similar geology, climate, soil, and vegetation characteristics. Studies on the water samples collected from the rivers showed that the physicochemical characteristics of the river varied significantly. The mean concentration of total solids within the rivers were 35.46mg/l, 31.57mg/l, 18.82mg/l and 45.53mg/l for Ase, Agbarho, Ethiope, Ekakpamre and Afiesere rivers respectively. Similarly, the mean concentration of heavy metal in the river system gave the following ranges zinc 0.93-2.96mg/l, copper 0.01-0.03mg/l, lead 0.003-0.08mg/l, cadmium 0.00-0.004mg/l, chromium 0.001-0.03mg/l, nickel 0.01-0.004mg/l, manganese 0.0080.04mg/l, iron 0.03-0.08mg/l. A comparison of the heavy metal concentration in the respective samples and recommended international standard such as WHO 1993 showed that the rivers were not significantly contaminated and are therefore suitable for domestic and industrial purpose. From the findings, there is need to protect the quality of the water systems for recreational, industrial and domestic uses. It is hoped that the result of this study would help the Delta State government and other interest groups to maintain existing projects, plan and also to execute properly future development programs in the study area. @ JASEM